Patrick and I made plans over a week ago to climb on Cannon. At that time all was good, the the temps were cold, and the ice was in fine shape. This weeks warm up was a slight concern to me. New England has been having a very inconsistent winter pattern and one never knows for sure what ice conditions will be from one day to the next.
Patrick drove up from Mass in the middle of the night through rain and sleet and I woke on the middle of the night with rain hitting the skylights, we both wondered what the day would bring. We kept with the plan and drove to the notch in the dark on very slippery, slushy roads. It was wet and warm.
Would the ice have held up, was in delaminating, are the cracks all covered in verglas?
The talus was covered in snow with verglas on the boulders. We took a slow steady walk up to the base and when we rounded the Whitney Gilman Ridge all looked to be good. The ice appeared to be plentiful and well bonded, it would be wet climb and screws may be questionable but we were first in line and we could take a look.
This was Partricks first climb on Cannon. Wow, he looked around at this very awesome and imposing ice climb. The first pitch looked do able but the long skinny runnel snaking its way up the left corner got his attention. I mentioned we would take it one pitch at a time and see how it goes for us.
We both found the climb to be in very good shape, just wet. Plenty of ice, good gear, and our sticks and foot placements were solid.
It is easy to second guess the plan from the couch and one never knows for sure until they are at the base of the routes. We enjoyed a fun day on the route, quite relaxed as we had the climb to ourselves. Thanks to Patrick for keeping focused and sticking with the plan.